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The Brides of Maracoor: A Novel (Another Day, 1) Paperback – Large Print, October 12, 2021
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“The Brides of Maracoor once again shows Maguire’s rich, mesmerizing world building, full of small, frustrating human absurdities. . . . It also shows off his gift for crafting compelling characters. . . . It’s an intriguing, witty start to a fantastical proposed trilogy.” -- Booklist
“With its rich character development and a healthy dash of Maguire’s humor, this latest Oz tale is as satisfying a read as the Wicked Years quartet.” -- Buzzfeed
“Amazing novel.” -- John Updike, The New Yorker, on Wicked
“Maguire’s work is melodic, symphonic and beautiful; it is dejected and biting and brave. . . . In fabulous details and self-mocking language, Maguire displays his gift for whimsical portrayals of the broken, the powerless, the hopeless, the bad.” -- Los Angeles Times on A Lion Among Men
“[A] masterwork…. Concludes…one of the most audacious and successful fantasy series of the past few decades…. Hilarious, heart-wrenching and extremely poignant…. The greatest fantasy series make one want to read them again. That’s what I intend to do with this one.” -- Washington Post on Out of Oz
“In four books, Maguire has expanded the mythology of Oz from L. Frank Baum’s books and created a land that’s just as rich as Middle-earth or Narnia, and balances the serious with the sublime. . . . Out of Oz is a satisfying finish to the Wicked Years saga.” -- USA Today on Out of Oz
“[A] sassy reimagining of Baum’s world. . . . Maguire’s canvas is incredibly rich. . . . This last installment is one to savor.” -- People (4 stars) on Out of Oz
About the Author
Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of A Wild Winter Swan; Hiddensee; After Alice; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked—the beloved classic that is the basis for the blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name—Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family in New England.
- Publisher : HarperLuxe; Large type / Large print edition (October 12, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063117738
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063117730
- Item Weight : 1.02 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.12 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #475,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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The seven brides came to the island from infancy, lacking education of most things outside of ritual, devotion, and maintaining their hardscrabble existence. The directive to the brides is clear - should they fail in their tasks, the world may come undone. Enslaved to a cause they don't understand, the brides soldier on, squabble, suffer, and manage to exist on their isolated island.
A green-skinned adolescent girl named Rain and her "Goose" companion Iskinaary crash-land on the brides' island. Arguments that the presence of the green girl constitutes an unheard of eighth "bride" create warring factions amongst the brides resulting in camps, a power struggle, and a mysterious, unexpected death of an elder bride.
The civil servant island/mainland liaison Lucikles shows up and will make his report of the irregularity. When Lucikles sails home, he arrives to find chaos has hit his homeland. After a brief sojourn, he finds his refugee family and returns to his agency for further instruction. From there, the political machinations and career threats ensue. The powers that be send Lucikles back to the island to bring Rain back to the mainland. Surely a green-skinned girl must be at the root of all of the recent trouble and upheaval.
The second journey back to the island results in the capture of Rain, one of the brides accused of murder, and retrieval of the relic the brides protect. Lucikles' son forms an attachment to the captives during their voyage to the mainland, showing compassion to the girls and defiance to his father.
A speedy trial comes to the accused murderess. Justice and mercy are hoped for but not expected for the young bride. As Maguire writes, "Whenever justice serves mercy, it is only a coincidence." The sentence results in an impassioned plea, a father's loss of regard, and a desperate hope for freedom.
Maguire's enchanting prose and flawless storytelling make this volume another of his works that I can rely on as a sure bet for an entertaining re-read. I can't wait for the next book in the series, and I can't recommend this one highly enough!
When I first heard that Gregory Maguire was going to once again return to Oz for a new trilogy, I was thrilled! Wicked has been one of my favorite books since I read it a few years after it was published, and I cherish my signed first-edition copies of all four books in the Wicked Years saga. I even had the honor of meeting Mr. Maguire on his tour for the final book in that series, “Out of Oz”. But with this news came a bit of curiosity and a few reservations: how would he be able to return us to the world? After all, Rain had snuck away and left Oz for destinations unknown at the end of “Out of Oz”. When I read the description of “The Brides of Maracoor”, I felt my reservations peek out. This book doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Oz… is it going to be connected or satisfying? Thankfully the answer is a full-throated “Yes!”.
“The Brides of Maracoor” finds Rain washed up on an unknown shore with her Goose companion Iskinaary. She has lost all memories of who she is, what she was doing, and where she is from. All she can remember is being tossed out of the skies by a vicious storm and landing on the shores of Maracoor Spot. It is here that she meets the Brides of Maracoor, seven women who spend their lives in seclusion on the island, piously stringing together nets that represent time. They rub their feet raw until they bleed each morning in a sign of piety and discipline.
Their whole world is rocked to its core by Rains arrival. Some embrace her and seek to help. Others are wary and distrustful and want her gone. A power struggle ensues and ends in tragedy.
Meanwhile, the women receive their annual visit from Lucikles, a member of the Maracoor mainland who is charged with ensuring that there are still 7 brides on Maracoor and that they have all of the supplies they need. He arrives to chaos and confusion due to Rain and the power struggle. He leaves and promises to return to solve this issue.
Yet when he arrives home, he finds a country in distress after a massive attack from a foreign army. He travels across the country to find his family but is eventually called back to make his report on his trip. The leadership deems the attack the fault of Rain and her appearance and they send Lucikles back to Maracoor Spot to retrieve Rain and one of the brides to face charges. More chaos ensues after the trial, resulting in the rescue of Rain and the bride by the flying monkeys and the return of Rains memories.
That’s a very oversimplified recap but it the story. However, it was incredible! Do not go into looking for another Wicked or Out of Oz - this book is not that. This novel is a fresh story about memory and power and grief. It is about the power of misinformation and gossip. It is deep and makes you think but doesn’t get too stuck in the weeds to become overwhelming.
Gregory Maguire is an amazing world builder, and you can tell how much he really enjoyed doing that with this novel. It’s the first time he can wholly invent a brand new world on this book series as it is the first to not have a basis in Oz or other fairy tales. The governing ideals of Maracoor are fascinating, and the Brides and their job are too.
Give this book a shot - you’ll be glad you did! I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!